The Value Is The Ecosystem Not The Animal

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Pheroze, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    This is just a rumination on the value of hunting. I think the concept of "it pays it stays" unreasonably focuses on the target animal having a value. The concept of an animal having a monetary value is objectionable to some. And, I think the focus on the animal is actually misplaced. The real value is the ecosystem that supports the animal. The price for the animal is the charge to harvest the supported resource. The animal outside of the ecosystem has a very marginal value to hunters.

    The biggest threat to wildlife is habitat loss. This is where hunting really creates a remedy. Without tracts of wild areas one cannot hunt. You can put any value you want on an animal, but a hunter will not want to go after it unless it is in a natural environment. A hunter will avoid small enclosures, and what amounts to a 'shoot'. What a hunter does is pay for is the right to take bounty from a wild area on which he/she can hunt. The trophy price for the animal is a species specific fee, for sure. But, the monetization of the activity actually generates the revenue necessary to support and maintain the wild area. This can also been seen in the tag fees we pay for in our home jurisdictions. Those fees are for the right to shoot a particular species of animal. But, that is the only practical way to price the activity. To replace a tag system with an access fee is not good policy. An access fee to go on the land would be charged to all users of the environment. For many policy reasons we do not want to restrict access to public land. So, the hunting fee is charged to those who want to take some of the bounty off of that land. Just as havest permits are charged for the off-take of trees, minerals et. All these fees are for the use of the natural environment. And, the revenue is for the maintenance of the naturalized environment.

    My point is that to base the economic arguments for hunting on the idea that the animals have an economic value actually mis-characterizes the situation. The activity of hunting means I will pay to access a parcel of land to take resources. The price for an animal includes many variables, such as abundance, effort to get, relative danger of the activity etc. But, the eonomic value is in an ecosystem that sustains the animals we hunt. Without the ecosystem we would only be shooting targets, and that is not hunting.

    Just my New Year's rumination.

    Happy 2018.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2018

  2. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Fanatic

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    Ruminate away!
     

  3. ScottG

    ScottG AH Fanatic

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    I see it both ways. As far as Africa is concerned unless the animal has worth the Eco system is not even thought about. If the animals are poached out then the cattle will be brought in and overgrazed the the Eco system is gone too. A very complicated place Africa is.

    I think here in the US it leans more to your thoughts. Happy New Year.
     
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  4. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Excellent ruminations... Take a look at parts of Kruger where the perceived value of elephants is so high, they are allowed to multiply to the point of destroying the ecosystem.... How is that dilemma going to be solved?
     
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  5. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

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    While i can agree on the value of the ecosystem, you must also consider poaching in your equations. Poaching in itself does little damage to the ecosystem until it is so rampant that browsers/herbivores are gone.
     

  6. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    A comment if I may. I agree with Pheroze and also say that the economic value filters down and in effect goes around roughly ten times through small communities.
    Without these hunting activities the animals would not be managed and any economic inputs would not present.
     

  7. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    “If it pays it stays” is just one of many reasonable discussion points with regards to hunting. After all it is how African people view the many animals species with which they coexist!
    The loss of the habitat is where I always go next when discussing elephant hunting as @ActionBob points out. Having hunted the greater Kruger area I can attest to the massive destruction elephants cause and thus limit the use of area by other species.
     
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  8. Kowas Hunting Safaris

    Kowas Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Fanatic

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  9. thi9elsp

    thi9elsp AH Fanatic

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    @Pheroze You are spot on with your statements. All of my discussions with non-hunters start and end with the protection of the habitat. I'm going to expand my comments to them and talk ecosystem now. Thanks. John
     
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  10. peras

    peras AH Legend

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    Spot on. If the eco system is not maintained and protected there will be no animals to harvest and add value.
     
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  11. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Mr. Thompson of the True Green Alliance states that it all starts with the dirt. If the dirt cannot support the plants then there will be no plants. If no plants, then no animals and so on. I think hunters demand spaces that are healthy from the ground up. The difference between the hunter and the weekend camper is that we need those spaces, and will financially encourage them on a large scale. The recreational camper will not contribute the same amount financially, and tends not to need the same space.
     
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  12. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Pheroze, you certainly have a point. There are a number of organizations i.e. Ducks Unlimited, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation that support the need for habitat / ecosystem. In the States, funds provided by the Pittman-Robertson Act are given to State DNRs to enhance the hunting ecosystems within them. Regardless of how much has been done, hunters know we need to do more.
     

  13. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Spot on. I believe it was Mr Thompson who wrote an in depth artical with many facts and figures and included graphs detailing the Botswana elephant situation.

    I do not understand how our society has gotten so far off tract to so ideally dismiss such facts in favor of the politically correct nonsense that seems to rule the day.
     

  14. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I agree. But I wonder if the ultimate message - preserving habitats- is lost in all the divisive messages about iconic animals, beautiful animals blah blah blah. We can change the dialogue.
     
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  15. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Fanatic

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    I 100% support this approach vs the animal having value. As hunters, we understand that when a fellow hunter uses some version of the animal having value, they understand that includes protecting the land, reducing poaching, etc. The problem is that nonhunters don't hear the same thing...they hear if you have enough money you can shoot any damn thing you want...ask Corey Knowlton! It seems such a positive experience to donate $350,000 to protect rhinos THROUGH the hunting of an old nonbreeding, soon-to-die male...because that is how we view hunting as conservation. Nonhunters only see a rich guy paying for the right to kill an endangered species.

    If that hunt were framed from a value on the ecosystem....the conversation becomes hunters pay to conserve land, hunters pay to conserve land, hunters pay to conserve land...let's say it again hunters pay to conserve land.

    There are two HIGHLY successful organizations in the U.S. that take this approach...Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Ducks unlimited. You never hear them say ducks have a value or elk have a value....they talk about conserving land and returning/managing it for all species.
     
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